Position Paper: General Safety Regulation Revision

ACEA welcomes the European Commission's initiative to further improve road safety through the revision of the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety regulations.

In spite of a three-fold increase in traffic, road safety in Europe has improved significantly the last 30 years. Maintaining this trend is important for an industry that prides itself on designing, producing and selling safe, comfortable and efficient vehicles in probably one of the most demanding markets in the world. The industry has a number of priorities in the field of safety that it wishes to see addressed.

Regulation (EC) 661/2009 of the European Parliament and Council, amended by Commission Regulations (EU) number 407/2011, 523/2012 and 2015/166 (the ‘General Safety Regulation’ or GSR) governs the type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units. The Regulation lists the compulsory implementing measures and the vehicle types to which each regulation applies.

In addition, Regulation (EC) 78/2009 on the type approval of motor vehicles with regard to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users (the ‘Pedestrian Safety Regulation’), has replaced Directive 2003/102/EC with modified and more advanced provisions, adapted to technical progress. These modifications include passive safety requirements to mitigate the risk of critical injury in the event of a collision between a vehicle and a person.

The GSR requires the Commission to report to the European Parliament periodically with proposals for amendments to the Regulation or other relevant Community legislation. These proposals relate to the inclusion of further new safety features that meet the CARS 2020 and the Policy Orientations on Road Safety 2011-2020 criteria. The Pedestrian Safety Regulation also requires the Commission to provide monitoring reports to the European Parliament.

In 2015, the EU Commission commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to undertake an extensive study to analyse more than 50 different measures under contemplation. Based on the results, the Commission has indicated its preliminary list of considered measures and the likely implementation time for each measure during the MVWG meeting on February 16 2016.

The automotive industry is a strong supporter of further reducing road casualties and thus welcomes the initiative of revising safety regulations to introduce solutions with the potential to substantially reduce the number of accidents and related injuries. However, any approach needs to consider actions on vehicles, infrastructure and driver behaviour in an integrated way. There has to be an appropriate policy mix, combining regulatory and other measures, defined on the basis of an in-depth impact assessment.

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